View Full Version : Shellac Finnishing ?
11-15-2007, 02:00 PM
I am in the process of making many recipe boxes as gifts. Each box is one species of wood with a box either being maple, curly maple, cherry, walnut, or fifured birch.
The walnut and cherry I plan the 50/50 BLO & MS followed by varnish.
The maple and figured maple I an thinking about a garnet dewaxed shellac. Wondering if the Garnet will really bring out the figure in the maple. I have used blonde shellac on maple but don't know about the other shellacs.
Also, does anyone have experience with finishing figured birch. I had never worked with birch but it works very well and the color and figure is beautiful.
11-15-2007, 02:53 PM
Boiled linseed oil basically adds a little amber color to the wood which is what "pops" the grain. Other than the super blonde shellac, shellac does basically the same thing, adds a bit of color which makes the grain more prominent. The darker garnet shellac adds more color, warming the color even more.
Try a bit of the garnet shellac on some scrap of the maple and see how you like it. Applying additional coats will add more color, so maybe try that in stripes. Apply a single coat over the entire peice, then a second coat over all but two inches, then another coat over all but another two inches etc. Which ever strip you like best, count up from the bottom, and thats how many coats you want to apply to get what you like. You can then add coats of blonde shellac if you want to build thicker.
11-15-2007, 03:18 PM
I have always done the BLO/MS as a first application to pop the grain and like the results. Are you saying that the blonde shellac would be of no benefit after doing the BLO/MS mix.
Also, am I understanding you correctly that if I want a darker color by using the garnet shellac that there is no benefit to first applying BLO/MS.
What I want to achieve is to get the figure more pronounced in the maple.
11-15-2007, 03:47 PM
>I have always done the BLO/MS as a first application to pop
>the grain and like the results. Are you saying that the
>blonde shellac would be of no benefit after doing the BLO/MS
The blonde shellac would add a protection to the surface that you won't get from the BLO. Even blonde shellac adds a bit of an amber color which does, maybe to a lesser degree, the same thing the BLO does to pop the grain.
>Also, am I understanding you correctly that if I want a
>darker color by using the garnet shellac that there is no
>benefit to first applying BLO/MS.
One of the famous woodworker people wrote (on the net or in a mag or somewhere, I read so much any more . . .) that he performed an experiment.
He applied BLO to one piece of furniture, then shellac as a topcoat. On a second piece of the same wood, he applied only the shellac. After a somewhat brief period of time he could not tell the difference in the the color of the pieces.
>What I want to achieve is to get the figure more pronounced
>in the maple.
I've been using BLO either full strength or mixed as a precurser to filming finishes for the same reason as you state, to pop the grain. On my rocking chair, I decided I would try without the BLO and just used shellac. The shellac I used is the 2# dewaxed Zinsser Sealcoat which is not super blonde but it is not garnet either. That alone popped the grain. It also added a little lighter red cast to the wood, but I'm hoping that is the lighting in my shop which is now all flourescent with the exception of a single regular bulb in a lamp at my bench.
Using the garnet, I don't think you'll see much affect, if any, of applying the BLO beforehand. But try it out on some scrap and see. Put on the BLO, then a coat of garnet shellac and compare to the other stuff with only shellac.
11-16-2007, 11:37 AM
Where I trained seeing the figuremeant using dyes and stain. Check out the flame birch pieces here; www.furnituremakers.com. Their process with tiger maple and flame birch was aniline dye, hot water, and sanded in stain. What colors you choose will determine how dark the end result is. You can tweek to your heart's content with all the colors of the rainbow you will find in dyes and stains. This doesn't have to be dark but it brings out the figure.
11-16-2007, 12:20 PM
Check out this recent episode of The Wood Whisperer http://thewoodwhisperer.com/episode-32-pop-goes-the-maple/
Basily he adds a little dye to dewaxed shellac 1# cut. Applys the shellac, lets it dry, then sands it off. Then apply the top coats (he says oil base provides the best pop) The dye stays in the end grain darkening it.